I wrote this reply a few days ago, but decided to sit on it for a while to make sure I wasn't having a knee-jerk reaction. I wasn't. Here's the post in the original form with no edits.
Let me start by saying that I like Jester's Trek. I've been reading it for longer than I've been playing EVE, and I've never had any major problems with what has been written in the past.
That changed today, when I read "Rent to own," Ripard Teg's opinion piece on null-sec renters. I strongly disagreed with most of the points made, and as my corp was until very recently part of a renter alliance, I thought myself qualified to offer an opinion on the subject.
I'm not going to bloat this post with the original points that Mr. Teg made, but you can find them at the link at the top of the post.
1. We were never required to join any fleets of the alliance we were renting from. If we wanted to join a defense fleet or a roam, it was possible, but never mandatory, and somewhat difficult to do. Our alliance of 160 might have contributed a couple members once a week. Not really much of an increase to fleet size.
2. See 1. Small, small numbers of renters show up.
3. See 1. Renters never show up in large enough numbers to change the course of a fight or 'impact morale' by dying in droves.
4. See 1. Small numbers, etc. The only increase in grinding I can honestly say my alliance could have caused was the POSes we added to our rental system when we moved in.
5. If my corp wasn't part of a renting alliance, we'd either be in high-sec or folded into a big sov-holding alliance. Either way, we're either not shooting anything, or we're flying in blobs.
6. Hogwash, sir. We relished a chance to fight small gangs, because it allowed us to do PVP without having to go through the hassle of getting onto someone else's comms, getting to their staging system, etc. 10 neuts show up in our system, and we're all docking up our mining/ratting ships to refit for combat.
7. What null-sec organization doesn't turtle up when faced with an un-winnable fight? I'd argue that not wasting time and ISK fighting a group of people who outnumber you 5 to 1 and have cap support on the batphone is just common sense.
8. Fair enough. This is why we're renters after all, and not independent sov-holders. We're not LEET PVP by any means. Most of us are in null to do industry related things, fighting is just a fun side-line to spice up our time.
9. Care-bears.... in nullsec. Null-bears? While I agree that renters will leave their systems if they're faced with an un-winnable war, the protection of those systems is what they're paying for. Loyalty has nothing to do with it. You don't earn loyalty by making people pay you for the priviledge of living in your space. I don't feel loyalty to the person who owns my apartment because I give him hundreds of dollars a month to live in his building.
10. Is literally a repeat of half of 9.
11. People who want to FC big fleets aren't in renter alliances. We don't have big fleets. We can't raise the numbers. Full of null-bears, remember? Also, people from renter alliances aren't generally invited to FC their overlord's fleets, so no big fights for renter FCs.
12. I'll refer back to point 5 for this. Our leaders aren't going to gain experience in holding sov, no matter how you try to look at it. We can rent and not learn about holding sov, go back to high-sec and not learn about holding sov, or fold into a bigger alliance and be nobodies who never learn about holding sov. By the metric presented here, the only people 'qualified' to be sov-holding alliance leaders are people who have +2000 buddies backing them up.
For someone who espouses the small-gang null-sec lifestyle, I'd have thought Ripard would be more forgiving (accepting? understanding?) of the people who try to make it in null any way they can. Elitism is the word that comes to mind when trying to decribe the overall tone of the post, and it doesn't sit well with me.
Ripard is no fan of the blob, and I can understand that. I'm no fan of the blob either. That's why I'm in a corp that likes small-gang PVP and industry. The problem is that his post feels like an attack on small-gang nullsec PVP, something Mr. Teg is supposedly a fan of.
I'm certain a CSM candidate doesn't mean to alienate a portion of the people who might support his campaign, but this post felt like a direct condemnation of the playstyle I've been part of for the last few months. Ripard's alliance hates sov. By their own admission, they have no interest in contesting for sov, and the distaste for structure grinding Mr. Teg expressed during Rote's campaign against neighbouring null-bears leads me to the conclusion he's got no interest the mechanics of sov-holding himself.
There's lots of pseudo-intellectual advice I could offer, but I'll stick to something simple:
- CSM candidates who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
In the 9 months I've been reading Jester's Trek, "Rent to own" is the by far the most inaccurate post* I've seen. I'll even stretch and call it the worst piece of writing I've seen from Ripard Teg. It certainly convinced me that Mr. Teg might not be a good advocate for small alliances in player-sov null-sec. I don't presume to understand the motivations behind writing what he did it, but whatever they were, he must have had one heck of a bright idea.
* Not including the "No, I will not run for CSM8 no matter how much you beg me" posts. Ripard Teg for CSM8? Maybe.